Popsicles in the summer!
Riding my bike during the summer was one of my major past times as a grade school kid. When I was 9 it was a really hot summer! I got an allowance of a quarter every week. A popsicle for $0.07 was very refreshing on a hot day after riding my bike.
Being a true American, I never saved a dime. So I got an inspiration! After riding on a very hot afternoon, I pedaled up the front entrance of our local drug store in area of Midway airport. (At that time, Midway was the world’s busiest airport!) I looked for a popsicle out of the glass slide top freezer next to the front counter. Mr. Hayden went to our church St. Camillus and my older brother was same age as his youngest son. He had 3 older housewives from neighborhood working at the counters.
I fished out a lime popsicle without any coins in my pocket. I marched up to the counter. “Could I pay for this popsicle on Monday when I get my allowance?” I think she was stunned that a kid would want a credit account. At the same time, she was a mom! She smiled and said ok. There was no ledger and no note at the counter. She just gave me license to steal, if I was a crook.
With sweat still pouring down my head, I marched out and swung onto my bike with a ice cold popsicle. I had to work on it fast because it was starting to melt in the hot sun. It was a double stick popsicle, so I had 2 more sticks for my collection.
I built some bridges out sticks. Martha Stewart (of course) has website projects for popsicle sticks and none of my projects were saved by my mom!? Oh well, they weren’t done very well.
So I pedaled there on Monday to pay for my popsicle, and check over their latest comic books. I would usually make a mental check list of which comic books I had to buy! Then I would wait for an opening after supper, to tell my parents about a great comic book I saw at Mr. Hayden’s store. My dad would have me walk with him to buy his Chicago Daily News and yes, I picked up Mad Magazine or a comic book.
My folks lived paycheck to paycheck after buying a Chicago bungalow house in 1953. I never knew anything about their struggles and challenges as a kid. That’s the way they wanted it. I knew we weren’t rich, but I didn’t care.